Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Called from the Dead End course of the World

God is good.  Never forget that.  Even when great pain and trouble falls upon us, his people, God remains good.  

Job said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD" (Job 1:21 KJV). 

As I approach the two year mark on this journey of faith and recovery, I find myself embattled with many issues and great depression.  

Priests talk of midnights of the soul.  The past two years have been a long midnight.  Before that I was in the dark also.  For about five years, twilight, another five years, pitch black.  

Jesus said, "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45 ESV).

It's always at those moments when things go from bad to worse that I start to question.  I don't question the sovereignty of God, but I do question the goodness of God.  How can you let this happen Lord?  Won't you step in just a little, and spare me the worst of these emotions?  

Sometimes when you're feeling really bad, some jerks are gonna show up and make you feel even worse.  Just like with Job.  He's lost everything, he's bleeding and his children are dead.. and then his three buddies show up to insult him and argue with him.  Always a pleasure. 

From Psalm 34:17,18: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 

I'm the crushed in spirit, that description fits me perfectly.  I'm the depressed, the deeply troubled, the saved, yet sad.  I'm sure that's true for many of us.  We're Christians but we're suffering from the woes of this world.  It's a natural state.  

Psalm 35 Of David.

Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armor;
    arise and come to my aid.
Brandish spear and javelin[a]
    against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
    “I am your salvation.”
May those who seek my life
    be disgraced and put to shame;
may those who plot my ruin
    be turned back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
    with the angel of the Lord driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
Since they hid their net for me without cause
    and without cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
    may the net they hid entangle them,
    may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord
    and delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim,
    “Who is like you, Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
    the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
11 Ruthless witnesses come forward;
    they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good
    and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
    and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14     I went about mourning
    as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
    as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
    assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
    They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[b]
    they gnashed their teeth at me.
17 How long, Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their ravages,
    my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
    among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me
    who are my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason
    maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably,
    but devise false accusations
    against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
    With our own eyes we have seen it.”
22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent.
    Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense!
    Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
    do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
    or say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 May all who gloat over my distress
    be put to shame and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me
    be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication
    shout for joy and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
    who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
    your praises all day long.
Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against us.  But it's not.  There may be a few.  There may be many unseen forces.  There may be many outlets and forces at work behind the evil in this world, but God is sovereign over all life.

And the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the beautiful song, the quiet truth behind all the rustle and bustle of humanity struggling to make it's way on it's own.  God picks out the few and draws them in a different direction from the dead end course of the world.  

I'm honored to be one of those few, and I hope you are too.  

Romans 9:22-26 (NIV) 22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles? 25 As he says in Hosea:
“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people;
    and I will call her ‘my loved one’ who is not my loved one,”
26 and,
“In the very place where it was said to them,
    ‘You are not my people,’
    there they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”